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NSW Wine urges State Government to prioritise local wine

NSW Wine has called upon its State Government to prioritise NSW Wine at local venues and events over international alternatives, arguing the need for a “NSW First” policy.

NSW Wine executive officer Matthew Jessop and board member, Brokenwood CEO Geoff Krieger, fronted an inquiry on Wednesday 26 June into the ‘procurement practices of NSW government agencies and its impact on the social development of the people of NSW’.

“Through its own procurement, whether that is at government-owned, operated or leased venues or at sponsored events, the NSW Government continues to buy more international and interstate wine than it does local wine,” said NSW Wine in a release to media on Friday.

In the lead-up to the 2023 NSW State Election, NSW Wine sought a commitment from all parties to establish a ‘NSW First’ wine procurement policy targeting 100% NSW wine in all NSW Government-owned, leased and tendered venues, plus events sponsored using NSW taxpayers money.

“The industry believes this is an opportunity for the NSW Government to show leadership to the whole of NSW,” said NSW Wine president Mark Bourne. “Our state produces world-class wines that deserve to be showcased at every government-affiliated event and venue. By implementing a ‘Buy NSW’ policy we can boost our local economy, support regional communities, and proudly present the best of NSW to visitors and residents alike.”

The association noted that the NSW Government has “significant buying power”.

“Not only could the NSW Government, directly and indirectly, become one of the NSW wine industry’s biggest customers, it could, and should, be our biggest supporter shining a light on our world-class producers and 16 unique wine regions,” said the association. “International or domestic visitors to Sydney should not sit at iconic venues like the Sydney Opera House drinking a glass of imported Italian Prosecco when they could be drinking award-winning local sparkling from Orange, Tumbarumba or the Southern Highlands.”

NSW Wine pointed to the International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney as a “positive example” of the impact of such a policy in practice.

“Over the past seven years through its 100% NSW wine list it has purchased over 400,000 bottles of local wine,” said NSW Wine. “If the ICC Sydney can make it a cornerstone of its operations, NSW Wine asks why other NSW Government-owned and leased venues and sponsored events find it so hard?”

The inquiry provided NSW Wine with another opportunity to have this policy put on record.

A full transcript and video of the NSW Wine submission and representation at the inquiry is available here, beginning at the 1 hour 43 minute mark.

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